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Alexandria Family Law Blog

What to do when vaccinations cause co-parenting problems

Co-parenting after a Virginia divorce is not always easy. Parents often disagree on the different aspects of raising a child. One area where parents may find a major issue is when it comes to vaccinations. While the majority opinion is that they are good for children and society, some parents may be completely against vaccinating their children. If one parent is an anti-vaccine advocate and the other wants his or her children vaccinated, it can become a major point of contention.

In a divorce situation, the court assigns parental rights. Typically, both parents are given an equal say in how their children are raised. This includes whether they are vaccinated or not. According to NBC News, some parents may disagree over specific vaccines instead of not vaccinating in general. These cases can often be resolved easily through talking with the medical provider and getting more information about the vaccine.

How are military pensions handled in a divorce?

How are military pensions handled in a divorce?

Military life is never easy, but if you or your spouse is in the military and you are thinking about getting a divorce in Virginia, your life can become even more complicated, especially with regard to issues surrounding the military pension. The Virginia State Bar explains that the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act allows state courts to treat military pensions as marital property for purposes of a property settlement, but only in certain situations.

Alimony in a military divorce

A divorce can sometimes be more complicated if one of the spouses is in the military. Many Virginia couples may have questions about alimony and how it works for military families.

Although alimony is usually awarded in many divorces, it may be seen as a requirement when a service member divorces. The American Bar Association says that this is because the armed forces place a heavy emphasis on financially supporting military families. This means that if a state court does not establish alimony payments, the serviceman's branch of the military will usually set them up. If the military establishes these payments, the serviceman's rank usually determines the amount.

What are some facts about child support?

If you have a child and are no longer in a relationship with your child's other parent, you may be dealing with child support. Child support is a payment made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help pay for the child's needs. According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, when figuring child support, the court considers many factors, such as childcare expenses, health insurance expenses, the number of children and the incomes of both parents.

You will get child support until your child turns 18 in most cases, but there are some situations where you may continue to receive it even after your child turns 18. It depends on what is stated in your court order, and state law says support must continue to age 19 if the child is still in high school. It also depends if back support is owed. That obligation does not go away when a child turns 18. In addition, if you have more than one child, the support may not automatically go down when one child turns 18. Support may also stop if parental rights are terminated for any reason, such as adoption, but this is not always automatic and is up to the court to decide.

Is your prenup invalid?

Before you wed in Viginia, you may have entered into a prenup agreement and assumed that your rights and assets would be protected if your marriage ended in divorce. Many people are surprised to find that their premarital agreement may not be as sound as they believed it to be. We at Jeffrey A. Vogelman and Associates can not only assist you as you establish a prenup before you are married, we can also help you determine if your existing agreement is valid.

According to Findlaw, there are several reasons why your prenup could be considered invalid in the eyes of the court. If either of you did not fully disclose all of your liabilities, assets or income, your agreement may be void. 

Should I choose a divorce attorney or a mediator?

If you and your spouse are Virginia residents contemplating divorce, you can choose to each hire an attorney or you can together hire an impartial mediator to help you resolve your issues and arrive at a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. In its Divorce Handbook, Fairfax County explains that mediation addresses the economic and parenting issues you face, such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of marital property.

One of the advantages of mediation, however, ultimately can become its greatest disadvantage as well. That is the fact that you and your spouse are in control. The mediator can help you negotiate with each other, but cannot force you to reach agreement. Should you fail to arrive at a mutually satisfactory divorce settlement, including custody, visitation, and support of your children, you will have wasted your time and money and have to start from scratch with private attorneys.

Do Virginia grandparents have visitation rights?

As a Virginia grandparent, a time may come when you would like to pursue visitation rights to your grandchild, and you may wonder whether you have grounds to obtain them. According to The Spruce, the state does not have statutes that are specific to grandparent visitation. Rather, the same set of statutes concern decisions regarding both visitation and custody.

To successfully pursue visitation rights to your grandchild, you must typically show that maintaining a relationship with you is in the best interest of the child in question. In making this determination, the court may conduct mental or psychological evaluations with your grandchild, and mediation and on-camera interviews may also come into play.

Will your prenup hold up in court?

Before your wedding day, you and your then-fiancé signed a prenuptial agreement. Now that your husband has asked for a divorce, you have been wondering if you will be bound by the contract. Like with many other legal questions, the answer is maybe. For example, did you know that a Virginia court can throw out the prenuptial agreement if certain conditions exist? While it has generally been difficult for a spouse to convince a court that a prenuptial agreement should be void, it has been known to happen.

In cases like yours, where the husband convinced his wife to sign a prenuptial agreement and now wants a divorce, you may be able to prove to a judge that there are defensible grounds to revoke the contract. Read further to find out more about conditions that may result in an invalid prenup.

Is your spouse entitled to your military benefits after divorce?

If you reside in Virginia, are part of the U.S. Armed Forces and suspect a divorce is in your future, you may be wondering what rights your spouse will retain to your military benefits once the divorce is final. In most cases, your spouse will no longer be eligible to use a military commissary or rely on Tricare benefits once the two of you divorce, but there is a key exception.

Per Military.com, the decision of whether your spouse will retain access to your military benefits, post-divorce, comes down to whether they meet the criteria set forth by what is known as the 20/20/20 military divorce rule. For your soon-to-be-ex spouse to be able to qualify for your military benefits, your relationship must adhere to three specific criteria.

How should you manage online accounts in a divorce?

When you go through a divorce in Virginia, you typically consider how you and your ex-husband will separate your material assets. However, it is important to consider your online accounts as well.

According to USA Today, your social media accounts are among the online services you should separate. If you and your ex-husband have a shared Facebook page, it is recommended that you both establish your own page and delete the old one. It is also a good idea to decide how you will manage your new social media account. You should typically take into consideration your privacy settings, the information you share and your friends list, and you may want to adjust all of these depending on the amount of information you want your ex-husband to have access to.

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